Yesterday at the store there was a kid bloody.murder.screaming… incessantly. I probably wandered around the store for 20 min or so, and the screaming went on the entire time. From the looks of it, the boy wanted something and the mom said no. All he kept repeating was ‘But I WANT IT!!!’ And she would negotiate a half-hearted ‘No, you’re not behaving’. I caught a few glimpses of the scene everyone was either trying to flee, or gawk at. There was A LOT of physical punching, slapping, and pulling that the mom was enduring from this wonderful, eh hem, angel… it didn’t even phase her.
I wished, briefly, that I could weasel my way through crowd to give her a high five and encourage her for sticking to her guns, but then the words ‘Maybe later’ came out of her mouth.
C’mon Moms and Dads. Do NOT reward your child’s fits. And I don’t say this as a parenting tip, I say it for all of humanity’s sake.
Hear me on this. Respect starts at home. If your child doesn’t respect you, they wont know how to respect anyone else around them. They literally, flat out, won’t care.
And sadly, we are seeing the fruit of this lovely respect tree, wither and die. Gone are the days where kids remember their manners, if they even know any at all. Kids talk to the adults around them in any fashion they see fit. We just can’t deny it anymore. It’s become what it’s become, and its so, so very sad.
We are letting the children run things. The same children that are both physically and mentally incapable of taking care of themselves. There is a reason why there are required ages for driving, drinking, marrying.. It was deemed so by professionals, that brain development was not sufficient for these things until at least a certain age was reached.
So why the heck are we allowing our kids to make every decision they choose, and not requiring them to have our assistance in the matter?
This morning several of us were in the kitchen, and I pulled my coffee cup off the keurig and turned around just as Deken opened the dishwasher. It banged right into my legs and coffee spilled everywhere. He started apologizing profusely and ran to get a towel. Just a few minutes after that the toast popped up, and as I started walking from one side to the other, Deken looked up and anticipated that the drawer he was in, was in my path, and quickly shut it and stepped back so I could get passed. Then when Deken was on the stool putting cups away, Asher came over to ask for the stool so he could put the spray bottle away, and before Deken could answer I stepped in and said ‘No, it would be polite for you to just wait until he was finished’. So Asher stepped back and waited until Deken was finished. Deken handed Asher the stool, said “Here you go, Asher.” “Thank you, Deken” “You’re welcome, Asher” yada yada.
We have been guilty at times of putting our kids before all else. Especially when we first became parents to a two yr old and thought everything was just so darn cute. But quickly did I start to see that the mentality that attitude was building in his head, trickled out into public life. How we treated the kids and how we allowed them to treat us, is how they began treating others. It wasn’t until we started elevating the expectation to “12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12), was when we all started to see the value of respect.
What happened in the kitchen this morning was not just a bunch of examples of how I whisk myself around here like the Queen of Sheba… It was a win for a Mom that sees it and knows that her kids are learning a very tough concept. We know that this behavior will trickle out into their life outside this house, as long as we stick with it, and make it the norm not the exception.
It can be done parents!
Kids will always be kids, and if you have kids like mine, there will still always be obstacles. The need to defy and manipulate. The sponge effect from watching kids around them. Limits will be reached and rebellion will occur. But at least we can all reach a point where the tide has changed and these moments are more seldom and rare, rather than every waking moment of the day.
The woman in the store yesterday was clearly burnt out. It was obvious that this was a road she traveled often and in our human weaknesses, she’s probably learned the peace that comes with giving in. How much more so could she have used a ‘Solidarity Sister’ high-five from me. I’m sorry I missed the opportunity. What I do have is the continual opportunity for prayer. I can pray for her, that she find the endurance to pursue the changing tide. I can pray for her strength as she may be realizing how tough this parenting road is, and how necessary it is to strive to raise good citizens of this world. I can pray that the world may someday see that its vanity and consumerism is breaking the bonds of value and hurting our relationships, especially husband and wife, parent and child. And I can pray for her very tender heart, that clearly was quite vulnerable to breaking.
Will you join me?